December 10, 2015
This week, the popular current affairs site VICE released a short documentary – “The Real X-Files?” – about the persistent belief in extraterrestrial encounters, and the subculture that this belief has sprouted. Wisely, they chose the Center for Inquiry’s own Joe Nickell, the world-renowned investigator of the paranormal, to be their primary source for the skeptical perspective.
Joe and CFI are front and center in this 18-minute video piece, as he joins VICE journalist Casey Feldman on a journey to Roswell, New Mexico, to take in the sights and personalities of a community obsessed with alleged alien encounters. Joe not only delivers some excellent lessons in the fundamentals of skepticism but also reveals his good humor and empathy, aspects of himself that belie the negative stereotype of the stick-in-the-mud skeptic.
Also featured in this documentary are Skeptical Inquirer editor Kendrick Frazier, the SETI Institute’s Seth Shostak (also a fellow of CFI’s Committee for Skeptical Inquiry), and veteran “Ufologist” Stanton Friedman, who, let’s just say, is not the fan of Joe that we are.
We think Joe did an excellent job representing CFI and the wider skeptic community, and we think you’re really going to enjoy it. Make sure to carve out some time and check it out.
* * *
The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. CFI‘s web address is https://centerforinquiry.org.